Causes of Dehiscence
Dehiscence can be caused by many factors. A patient who is malnourished or unable to eat may not be able to heal their wound quickly or in a way that is strong enough to withstand normal stress. In other cases, a wound may be healing well, but a sudden increase in abdominal pressure, due to coughing, sneezing, vomiting, bearing down to have a bowel movement or lifting a heavy object, causes an abdominal wound to open.
An infection in the incision increases the chances of dehiscence. The infection delays healing, which extends the amount of time where the incision is vulnerable to injury. An infection can also weaken the newly formed tissue as the body works to close the incision and fight infection instead of focusing on healing.
Obese patients are more likely to have problems with wound closure and healing, as the wound has more difficulty closing and the healed incision must be stronger to support the additional weight of the fatty tissue.
In all cases, dehiscence should be reported to your surgeon, as it can become an even more serious complication called "evisceration."